It’s the time of year for those in the technology arena to provide their 2012 trends, predictions, and prognostication – virtualize everything, capitalize on private and public clouds, control unstructured data, flatten the network, integrate mobile devices, embrace SoMe, and deliver everything as-a-service.
I often find myself getting confused as I decipher and try to synthesize these trends into priorities that are most relevant and will make a big difference for our clients. From all I read ... all my recent conversations with leading Analyst firms ... through my recent customer visits ... and based on some of our own HP research, I believe the MANTRA for 2012 that I believe is the backbone for all others is this – ask yourself:
How does infrastructure convergence affect me, how will it help my clients, and what can I do to become a change agent to develop an organizational plan that contemplates changes in roles, disciplines and hiring to support a services-oriented architecture?
It is clear infrastructure convergence will become the mainstream CIO foundational strategy for hybrid data center environments. The reason is simple: It’s the optimal way to innovate! The difference in 2012 is how forward-thinking companies will blend and cultivate the TECHNOLOGY with the PEOPLE who run it.
In fact, as I was crafting this blog, I had to stop to attend an IDC webinar: IDC Insights Predictions 2012: CIO Agenda (Air date: Jan 10th – watch the replay). IDC predicts that 2012 will begin the era of IT innovation as CIOs start to employ cloud, mobile, social, and big data/analytics – with convergence as the catalyst for 'business innovation' to flourish. They go on to say that because the pace of change has ‘accelerated’, that the cost and complexity of legacy IT environments is stifling innovation -- and a big problem in moving away from this legacy envrionment is the scarcity of the next generation of IT talent.
Embracing convergence could very well end up being the difference between those individuals and organizations that thrive 2012, and those that may not survive. When you think about it, it’s really about the people, their skills, and their fortitude – on both a personal and professional level – that will be the difference. This is why I believe embracing convergence in 2012 should be your #1 priority.
The bottom-line: your role in the organization will be more scrutinized this year.
A converged infrastructure means that the individual parts or silos of IT will become more collapsed, consolidated, orchestrated, and automated. This is exactly why convergence creates opportunities for those that embrace it. And why the culture and functional roles of forward-thinking companies will take a giant leap forward this year as they bring convergence value into their main stream operations. Think about how that will affect your current function?
From the TOP, the CEO understands that constant change is now a business fundamental – with more fierce global economic and competitive pressures in 2012. This has heightened their concerns about business growth, cost management, customer satisfaction, and driving innovation to gain a competitive advantage. They see how the ROI and TCO of IT convergence is very compelling, and they expect IT to deliver this business value.
In turn, CIOs face the cliché of needing to “do more with less”. In fact, IDC in their webinar showed that over 50% of CIOs state that their IT budget will be the same or decrease this year. This is why CIOs and Solution Architects are deploying more hybrid IT environments (cloud & traditional IT) with a focused effort on getting a handle on big data. Thus, as they evaluate their hybrid data center needs, they will also review their IT skill sets (since new technologies may require different types of IT staff and processes).
For example, the new wave of server administrators will benefit from new converged infrastructure solutions by simplifying and accelerating resource provisioning by using self service portals, managing their infrastructure as a holistic unit, and eliminating the cause of server sprawl. Network managers know having a simpler and flatter, yet more flexible, intelligent, and resilient network is the wave of the future to free up resources to further innovate. How fast they embrace the solutions available to them in a converged environment will determine their future value. And storage managers, who coordinate with the Server and Network managers, see how virtualized, scalable, and self-optimized converged storage will be an opportunity to redirect their time to more strategic activities.
I repeat, it’s time to “embrace convergence”, not be threatened by it.
I hope this makes logical sense to you. And because I feel this is really important, I will be going deeper into this topic in my upcoming blogs. For now, here are a few ‘easy-read’ resources that I think you will find valuable:
- HP Converged Infrastructure strategy and solutions
- Forrester Thought Leadership Paper about Converged Infrastructure
- IDC Study: As an IT org’s convergence level increases, so do the benefits and business value
- Many HP customers who derived benefits from HP Converged Infrastructure
- Certify your IT staff on Converged Infrastructure with HP ExpertONE
Let’s have a great year.
More to come,